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Marketing Mobile Use to Teens and Parents

JupiterResearch finds that wireless carriers can significantly grow their subscriber base and revenues by targeting teenagers and parents with separate marketing messages. According to a new report, 58 percent of teens have cell phones, whereas 70 percent of adults already had them in 2005.

"Parents get mobile phones for their teens because they want to communicate in case of an emergency, and wireless carriers have made it easy to add users to their existing plans," said Julie Ask, Research Director at JupiterResearch. "Wireless carriers have been very successful in getting parents to expand their plans to include their teens, but between free phones and shared minutes, it's not the most lucrative proposition for carriers."

Family plan promotions from wireless carriers have succeeded in pulling 60 percent of teen mobile subscribers into a family service plan. However, the 29 percent of teenage cell phone users with their own plan consume more premium content and are likely to yield a higher margin as a result.

"To effectively capture the teen market, wireless carriers should create separate marketing messages for teens and their parents," said David Schatsky, President of JupiterKagan. "Parents will be responsive to the value proposition, whereas teen marketing should focus on trendy gadgets and content."

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